Nav: Home

Romantic, candle-lit dinners: An unrecognized source of indoor air pollution

August 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2009 -- Burning candles made from paraffin wax -- the most common kind used to infuse rooms with romantic ambiance, warmth, light, and fragrance -- is an unrecognized source of exposure to indoor air pollution, including the known human carcinogens, scientists reported here today. Levels can build up in closed rooms, and be reduced by ventilation, they indicated in a study presented at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

In the study, R. Massoudi Ph.D., and Amid Hamidi said that that candles made from bee's wax or soy, although more expensive, apparently are healthier. They do not release potentially harmful amounts of indoor air pollutants while retaining all of the warmth, ambience and fragrance of paraffin candles (which are made from petroleum).

"An occasional paraffin candle and its emissions will not likely affect you," Hamidi said. "But lighting many paraffin candles every day for years or lighting them frequently in an un-ventilated bathroom around a tub, for example, may cause problems." Besides the more serious risks, he also suggested that some people who believe they have an indoor allergy or respiratory irritation may in fact actually be reacting to air pollutants from burning candles.
-end-


American Chemical Society

Related Air Pollutants Articles:

Nearly half of US breathing unhealthy air; record-breaking air pollution in nine cities
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of air pollution on lung health is of heightened concern.
Babies in popular low-riding pushchairs are exposed to alarming levels of toxic air pollutants
Parents who are using popular low-riding pushchairs could be exposing their babies to alarming levels of air pollution, finds a new study from the University of Surrey.
Research team works to develop new ways to detect air pollutants
With a $2.3 million award from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an interdisciplinary team of Virginia Tech researchers led by Masoud Agah, the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is working to revolutionize a testing process for these harmful pollutants, in particular for truck drivers.
Prenatal and early life exposure to multiple air pollutants increases odds of toddler allergies
A new article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows a significant association between multiple prenatal and early life exposures to indoor pollutants and the degree of allergic sensitivity in 2-year-olds.
Clean air research converts toxic air pollutant into industrial chemical
A toxic pollutant produced by burning fossil fuels can be captured from the exhaust gas stream and converted into useful industrial chemicals using only water and air thanks to a new advanced material developed by an international team of scientists.
Exposure to air pollutants from power plants varies by race, income and geography
Many people take electricity for granted -- the power to turn on light with the flip of a switch, or keep food from spoiling with refrigeration.
Cleaning with bleach could create indoor air pollutants
For generations, people have used chlorine bleach to clean and disinfect their homes.
Exposure to outdoor air pollutants, change in emphysema, lung function
Whether exposure to outdoor air pollutants is associated with emphysema progression and change in lung function was the focus of this observational study.
Pollutants, pathogens could team up to make us sick
Many people view pollutants and pathogens as separate causes of illness.
Unexpected link between air pollutants from plants and manmade emissions
Scientists are a step closer to understanding what controls fine particulate matter in the Earth's atmosphere after identifying new linkages between natural contaminants and with manmade pollutants.
More Air Pollutants News and Air Pollutants Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.